Keeping Score

Padraig Harrington lobbies for Ryder Cup, no matter what

Even if coronavirus pandemic wipes out rest of qualifying events, Europe’s captain says he would make all 12 team selections, if that’s what it takes to play as scheduled in late September

12: Number of at-large picks that European captain Padraig Harrington would prefer to make – in other words, the entire team – if that’s what it takes to play the Ryder Cup this year as scheduled, he told London’s Daily Mail. With the coronavirus pandemic having idled the major professional tours since March 12, concerns have been raised about an adequate qualifying system ahead of the biennial U.S.-vs.-Europe matches, set for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. Harrington, a three-time major champion from Ireland, argued strongly against delaying the matches. “We're playing on, if at all possible, because the merit of getting out there and showcasing our sport far outweighs a perfect qualifying system,” Harrington said. “It wouldn't worry me if we were the first tournament back and I had to go with 12 picks, with no qualifying. In many ways, it would be perfect if the Ryder Cup was the first tournament back. Just 12 guys from Europe and 12 from America, with no prize money at stake and competing just for the glory. Wouldn't that be a nice way for sport to start back?” The Americans lead the series, 26-14-2, but Europe holds an 11-8-1 edge since the Great Britain and Ireland team added continental Europe in 1979. The Europeans have won four of the past five matches and seven of the past nine.

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